Literary Agents Discuss the Diversity Gap in Publishing

Originally posted on the open book:

Literary agents make up a big part of the publishing machine. Most publishers no longer consider unsolicited submissions, so an agent is a must if you even want to get your foot in the door. Each year, agents review many promising manuscripts and portfolios so it is safe to say they have a good sense of who makes up the talent pool of children’s book publishing. So what kind of diversity are agents seeing? Being that the number of diverse books has not increased in the last eighteen years , in order to understand why this problem persists we decided to ask the gatekeepers.

Adriana DomínguezAdriana Domínguez is an agent at Full Circle Literary, a boutique literary agency based in San Diego and New York City, offering a unique full circle approach to literary representation. The agency’s experience in book publishing includes editorial, marketing, publicity, legal, and rights, and is…

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What I Learned From Tweeting With A Black Woman’s Avatar For #RaceSwapExp

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Two weeks ago, after writer and activist Suey Park sparked a wave of protest and dude-bro angst with her response to the Colbert Report’s racist tweet, I heeded Suey’s call and began to tweet about why Colbert’s work did not qualify as satire, did nothing to improve the lived experiences of people of color and was often racist and transmisogynist. Some of my tweets were included in the first half dozen or so pieces about the trending hashtag and the conversation it ignited. For me, the experience was thought provoking and empowering; it was also rather easy. How? I was tweeting as a white man. Everything I said was accepted, supported, re-tweeted or (at worst) ignored.

That was in stark contrast to the countless rape/death threats leveled at Suey and many other women. Not to mention the myriad bro-pundits—Huffington Post’s Josh Zepps and Slate’s Dave Weigel are obvious examples—desperate…

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‘Allegiant’ will be two films? Why this decision might hurt Veronica Roth’s work


A bad decision; really bad.

Originally posted on PopWatch:

[ew_image url="" credit="Jaap Buitendijk" align="left"]

There will be four movies for Four.

It was announced Friday morning that the final book in the Divergent trilogy, Allegiant, will be split into two films, coming out a year apart, bringing the franchise to four films total. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows kicked off this trend — successfully — which means that now everyone feels free to turn their film installments into two projects (Twilight did it, and Hunger Games will do it as well). My colleague Darren Franich already wrote about why this is a trend that needs to die — and I wholeheartedly agree. But for Divergent/Allegiant specifically, I’m quite curious exactly how the studio plans to make two films — and how they plan to make sure that decision won’t ultimately hurt Veronica Roth’s work.

[Spoilers for Allegiant follow]

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Twisted Representation

Originally posted on Alexandria Sampson:

And another one bites the dust.


For those who aren’t familiar with the series Twisted, here’s the synopsis that the show advertised (emphasis on advertised):

Twisted is a one-hour mystery full of twists and turns that follows Danny Desai, a charismatic 16-year-old with a troubled past who returns to his hometown after spending five years in juvenile detention. Immediately branded an outcast, Danny attempts to reconnect with his two childhood best friends, Jo and Lacey. But when a fellow student is found dead in her home, Danny instantly becomes the prime suspect and town spirals into a frenzy of suspicion and mystery. Jo and Lacey must decide if their childhood friend is unforgivable, or if he’s really a victim being persecuted for his own twisted secrets.

In a nutshell, Danny was sent to juvie for the murder of his aunt Tara. Upon his release, he finds that Lacey…

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Does an Editor or Producer Ever Deserve a Writing Credit?

Originally posted on people who write:

John Ridley (l) and Steve McQueen respectively won the Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture Oscar for 12 Years a Slave - peoplewhowrite

John Ridley (l) and Steve McQueen

The day after John Ridley took home the Oscar for his screenplay adaptation of Solomon Northup’s book 12 Years a Slave, news broke that things were icy between the screenwriter and the film’s director Steve McQueen. According to,  Ridley and McQueen “were embroiled in a bitter feud regarding credit for the film’s Oscar-winning screenplay…”

Basically, McQueen felt he should share the screenplay credit, while Ridley and the film’s distributor Fox Searchlight felt differently. In the end, Ridley won the Best Adapted Screenplay prize while McQueen shared the Best Picture Oscar with fellow producers Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Anthony Katagas.

I don’t know the particulars of the arrangement between Ridley and McQueen, specifically whether or not the director/producer actually put finger to keyboard, but the alleged “beef” raises the question of when/if it’s ever appropriate for the person(s) that…

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Why the hell am I still DATING BLACK WOMEN?

Originally posted on Real News:


Why the hell am I still DATING BLACK WOMEN?
By: Ebrahim Aseem

A tall, Blonde, hazel eyed Aryan Beauty walked into my Black-owned, professionally-hood barber shop today, greeted by a cascade of compliments, as each patron’s brown eyes followed her from the very moment she got out of her car.

She had successfully made it pass the dozen Brown Skinned Beauties standing outside of the barbershop, staring daggers at her.

There are always at least a dozen Black Women standing outside my barbershop, dressed in club attire, hair freshly done, make-up on point, high heel game vicious, wearing their best body suit or mini skirt.

These Women have careers, own businesses & are in grad school, pre law, & pre med, yet they commute at least once a week to stand in front of a barbershop, like it is a night club line, for at most an hour…

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Originally posted on Nigerian LGBTI in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws:

Homosexuality has existed from time immemorial, as far back as when same sex persons ever came in contact. Africa is said to be the cradle of human race, it therefore can be logically inferred that homosexuality started in Africa, before human race started migrating to other places to spread its branches in different colours, shapes and sizes. Many African cultures and religions viewed Homosexuals and Transgender as gods, they were revered before intolerant religion and culture started flourishing. It was the advent of colonisation and the import of foreign laws like Sodomy laws that brought Homophobia and intolerance into African societies.

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What traditional African homosexuality learned from West

Originally posted on 76 CRIMES:

Patrick Awondo

Patrick Awondo (Photo by Eric Lembembe)

Homosexuality has a long history in Africa, says anthropologist Patrick Awondo, contrary to the claims of politicians who consider it a recent Western import.

But Awondo acknowledged in an interview last month that two key elements in the debate over homosexuality in Africa did come from the West — first, colonial-era laws against homosexual activities and, more recently, the establishment of groups opposing discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

“Homosexuality has always existed, but some of the current forms of gay self-identification and gay activism originated elsewhere,” he said.

Awondo was in Cameroon last month to help lead a training session on HIV/AIDS.

Citing historical records of homosexual practices in Africa, Awondo mentioned evidence of same-sex sexual relationships in Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso and Benin.

It is helpful for Africans to know about ancient practices such as Mossi kings’ sexual relations with their…

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21 varieties of traditional African homosexuality


Instead of having long debates with people which result in me thinking they are dumber than a bag of rocks; this links and others like it will be my response. Down with homohaters! And anti-humanists! And anti-Africanism (Africanism in this case being what is of the continent and not what the Europeans carved out as their idea of what Africanism should be, which is puritanical, Victorian era culture).

Originally posted on 76 CRIMES:

King Mwanga II of Buganda, who reportedly had sexual relations with men.  (Photo courtesy of Sebaspace)

King Mwanga II of Buganda, the “gay king” who reportedly had sexual relations with men. (Photo courtesy of Sebaspace)

At least 21 cultural varieties of same-sex relationships have long been part of traditional African life, as demonstrated in anew report  that is designed to dispel the confusion and lies surrounding Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

The following discussion and the 21 examples are from that report, “Expanded Criminalisation of Homosexuality in Uganda: A Flawed Narrative / Empirical evidence and strategic alternatives from an African perspective,” which was prepared by Sexual Minorities Uganda:

In their work anthropologists Stephen Murray and Will Roscoe provide wide‐ranging evidence in support of the fact that throughout Africa”s history, homosexuality has been a ‘‘consistent and logical feature of African societies and belief systems.”

Thabo Msibi of the University of Kwazulu‐Natal documents many examples in Africa of same-sex desire being accommodated within pre-colonial rule.”

Boy Wives and Female Husbands cover The work…

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